Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Patt Morrison for

Patt Morrison for July 12, 2011

From This Episode


Behind closed doors, parents still spank their kids: surprising results of a new study on corporal punishment

When researchers at Southern Methodist University put microphones in the households of 37 families the intent wasn’t to study spanking or corporal punishment—the original aim was to study yelling with voluntary audio recordings of parents conducting life at home. What came back were dozens of instances of smacks and slaps, followed by the crying of little kids who had just been spanked by their parents. Children were spanked for a variety of reasons: not cleaning up their rooms, fighting with siblings, not following their bed time routines. Some of the spanking was for seemingly small infractions (repeatedly turning the pages of a book too soon) and sometimes there was a cruel irony to the spanking (a parent upset at siblings physically fighting with each other doles out corporal punishment), but no matter the justification the spanking was fairly consistent. Even as society has done its best to move away from spanking there are still plenty of parents who feel it’s an acceptable form of discipline. The same lead researcher on this audio study has conducted previous research showing that 70% of college-educated women spank their children and up to 90% of all parents use some form of corporal punishment. While positive discipline might be all the rage, children are still getting spanked and for the most part parents still feel it’s an acceptable form of controlling and teaching their kids. If microphones were to be placed in your home, would they catch you spanking your child? Is it something that parents should be ashamed of, or did parents of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s have the right idea about the effectiveness of a swift spank on the backside to deter bad behavior?


Murdoch’s hacking scandal grows and grows: Queen’s staff and 911 victims among those targeted

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire was in the spotlight again yesterday when accusations that two more of his newspapers engaged in hacking and privacy violations that included paying Queen Elizabeth II’s bodyguards for secret information about the monarch’s movements and accessing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s bank accounts and medical records of his young son. This follows reports that Murdoch’s News International minions breached the privacy of thousands, including the phone records of politicians and even the families and victims of 911. Brits and Murdoch watchers are further shocked that five senior investigators with the venerable Scotland Yard have been implicated in the story; evidence shows the officers’ own phones were hacked in 2006 by The News of the World reporters and incriminating personal information found. This raises the question of whether senior criminal investigators had concerns that if they aggressively investigated the paper they would be punished with splashy stories about their secrets, some of which were tabloid-ready. The tentacles of Murdoch’s influence seem to reach even to the highest political offices in the United Kingdom, and the extent of his influence is just coming to light. What does this mean for the mega-empire that Murdoch has built and the politicians who played his game? And what about the people without influence of their own – does their personal privacy warrant protection?


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Patt Morrison for September 4, 2012

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